Hearing goes ahead — without Anufriev

The hearing at Karelia’s Supreme Court of defence and prosecution appeals against the 22 July verdict in the DMITRIEV trial will go ahead tomorrow despite the absence of Victor Anufriev, the attorney who has led Dmitriev’s defence since December 2016. Postponed for a week at Anufriev’s request (he is self-isolating), the hearing will begin at 10 am on Tuesday, 22 September at 27 Kirov Street in Petrozavodsk.

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Appeals to be Heard on 16 September

On Wednesday, 16 September 2020, the Supreme Court of Karelia will hear the appeals submitted by both defence and prosecution after the 22 July verdict and sentence in the trial of Yury DMITRIEV.

The investigation and prosecution of the historian and head of the Memorial Society in Karelia began in December 2016 and has lasted almost four years, during which time Dmitriev has been detained, almost continually, at detention & investigation centre No 1 in Petrozavodsk.

The current appeals

Dmitriev’s defence has appealed against his conviction on one of the charges and called for his acquittal on all counts.

Under the Russian judicial system, the prosecution is also entitled to appeal. The prosecution has protested about the exceptionally light sentence (3 ½ years) and is calling, as it did during the closing statements, for a sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment in a strict-regime penal colony.

The charges and the verdict

The evidence and expert testimony supporting and opposing a range of charges against the historian have been heard and evaluated at two trials since June 2017.

After examining the charges, the International Memorial Society declared on 28 June 2017 that Dmitriev was a “political prisoner”. The case against him was fabricated, said Memorial, and Dmitriev was innocent of all charges.

Today 64 years old, Dmitriev has been prosecuted for a number of  crimes under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. He was acquitted of all but one charge in April 2018. Tried again between October 2018 and July 2020 for two of the same offences and a further charge, he was found guilty of the new crime but given a minimal sentence.

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“They are not used to losing” (Yury Dmitriev)

Anufriev interview with Lyubov Chizhova (Radio Svoboda)

According to Dmitriev’s lawyer Victor Anufriev, a report by a psychologist pointing to “certain new circumstances” was presented to the Supreme Court of Karelia on 14 June.

“We shall know why the Supreme Court of Karelia took such a decision only in five days’ time,” Anufriev told Lyubov Chizhova of Radio Svoboda, “when the grounds for such a ruling on the appeal have been prepared. Yesterday they only announced the resolution that the sentence had been wholly revoked, as concerns both the acquittal [on two charges] and the conviction [on one charge].

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Political Trial reinstated

Yury Dmitriev (photo, Anna Yarovaya)

A rare moment of justice from a Russian court has proved all too fleeting, writes Halya Coynash. On 14 June, Karelia’s Supreme Court overturned the acquittal in April of world-renowned historian Yury Dmitriev and sent the ‘case’ back for retrial.  Dmitriev’s imprisonment and trial had been widely viewed as politically-motivated persecution, and his acquittal – the only possible verdict after the charges were totally demolished by experts.

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“A photo of a naked child is not pornography”

7×7 interview with Victor Anufriev

Yury DMITRIEV, head of Memorial in Karelia, is to remain in custody. On 29 December, the Supreme Court of Karelia heard an appeal for a change in the measure of restraint imposed on the historian until mid-February 2017. He was arrested for allegedly preparing child pornography. The investigation claims that he took pictures of his naked foster daughter. Dmitriev declares he is innocent of the charge.

Dmitriev’s defence attorney says that the photographs were intended for the Agency for Guardianship and Foster Care. The photos he took over several years monitored the physical condition of his foster daughter. Now these materials form the basis for a criminal case. In the corridor of the Supreme Court, Moscow attorney Victor Anufriev offered his commentary to the press.

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